Tag Archives: black

Minimalist Marbling

When I marble I usually have a dozen or more colors going by the third day.  I love color and I just keep adding another shade of blue or an accent of yellow.  For my last marbling session, I decided to try something completely different.  I had done some monochrome marbling before, but I had used four or five different variations – cobalt blue, Prussian blue, cyan, ultramarine blue etc. This time I used just one color plus black and white, or in a few cases, brown and white. I cheated a bit with the blue and used Cerulean blue, deep and Cerulean blue, chrome, but otherwise there was just one color.

It’s easy to get lots of shades in marbling because the paint spreads across the surface of the carrageenan and the more it spreads, the lighter it is.  As more and more paint is dropped, it spreads less and less. The first paint dropped gets compressed and so gets darker.

Some pictures of my fun time:

Cleaning up is much easier when I only use three colors!

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Catching Up

This week I’ve been working on the four books that I’ve been documenting on the Design and Making a Book step two & step three pages. However, working on the books has meant less time for writing about them. Tonight I’ve uploaded a bunch of pictures, but haven’t had time to explain what they are. Will do that tomorrow, I hope.

What fascinates me is how the books change during the process.  I have a picture in my mind of what the finished product will look like, but it seldom is totally accurate.  Materials sometimes seem to have a mind of their own! Papers that I plan on using magically shrink or get cut in the wrong direction forcing me to use alternatives. Sometimes I just don’t like something on the sixth or seventh try.  One of the advantages of working on several pieces at once is that I have time to step away from one choice and come back to it later. Sometimes a paper I am considering for one book, will end up in a totally different place.

The Black Palm book is a good example.  My first thoughts on the endpapers were just wrong.  The second (the tigers) put William Blake into my head and I have been quoting “Tyger!, Tyger!” all week – mainly to myself.  I’m very pleased with the outcome.   I had no plan to use leather on any of these books.  It involves a lot of work to pare it down and I have been preoccupied with a lot of other stuff.  When I was trying to decide what to use as the spine for this book, nothing was working — until I noticed a piece of black leather.  It was just the right size and worked beautifully.  The result is that this is probably my favorite book in the batch and not at all as planned.







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February in Black

Last week I was marbling paper again and I was off to a slow start.  Nothing was working right.  Colors were streaking, paints were spotting, worms all over the place –  just a mess.  It took me a day to realize that I had mixed the alum incorrectly and another half day to get everything else into balance.

I pulled some good sheets, but nothing thrilling and a lot that were “book only” – not good enough to sell as full sheets.  As usual, on day three, I switched to a smaller tray to work on card stock for note cards and vintage papers.  I realized that I was getting a very powerful black in the small tray, much stronger than I’d ever had before. I ran with it and pulled the papers shown below.  All of these were done on light colored paper – cream or white.


The colors become so vivid when contrasted with the black.  Wish I had some large papers like these.

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